5 Affordable Bathroom Renovations

The cost of a bathroom makeover can be daunting, but there are ways to save.

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The cost of a bathroom makeover can be daunting, but there are ways to save. One smart strategy is to focus your renovation efforts on a smaller, more commonly used bathroom rather than an expansive master.

A typical midrange bathroom update, which can include installing a new tub, tile surround, toilet, vanity counter with sink, recessed medicine cabinet, vanity light and ceramic tile floors, runs about $16,600, according to Remodeling magazine's annual "Cost vs. Value" report. A full-blown master bathroom renovation averages about $52,200. When you sell your home, you'll also recoup a higher share of the cost of a midrange remodel (62.2%) vs. a master (55.5%).

Make your midrange remodeling project even more affordable by selecting good-quality-but-lower-priced fixtures and materials, advise the experts we've talked to. Pick an American Standard over a Toto toilet, for example, or laminate over granite countertops. Also minimize layout changes. The less the need to relocate plumbing and electrical, the lower the final renovation bill. Here's a before-and-after look at five affordable midrange bathroom projects that cost less than $15,000.

Andrea Browne Taylor
Contributing Editor

Browne Taylor joined Kiplinger in 2011 and was a channel editor for Kiplinger.com covering living and family finance topics. She previously worked at the Washington Post as a Web producer in the Style section and prior to that covered the Jobs, Cars and Real Estate sections. She earned a BA in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is Director of Member Services, at the National Association of Home Builders.